In an Attempt to Fight Droughts, California will Cover Canals with Solar Panels
The research presented by Brandi McKuin also shows that there could be a possible 63 Billion gallons of water saved...
As droughts run their course throughout most of the world, California is making the attempt to launch a test that will see solar panels covering aqueducts in an attempt to save billions of gallons of water while also powering nearby homes. In the Turlock Irrigation District, the Project Nexus will be launched in mid-October. The launch follows the United States, and most of the world’s, worst drought in 1,200 years.
One of the locations will be a 500-foot span along a portion of the canal in Hickman and the other location is a mile-long portion in Ceres. The project itself will be funded by California and will leave a $20 Million dent. Gujarat, in India, has previously launched a similar project which gave inspiration to this one, according to Brandi McKuin, the University of California Merced Project Scientist.
Water is delivered to California by way of infrastructures that bring water from the north to the south. The entire network consists of 4,000 miles of canals. The solar panels are set to cover the canals, which would reduce evaporation and will also avoid using land for solar farms. This in turn reduces aquatic weed and algae growth and maintains a desirable maintenance cost.
"It's really exciting to test our hypothesis and the paper we published. We'll have an opportunity to really understand if those benefits pencil out in the real world."
Brandi McKuin said.
California’s renewable energy goal of 50% clean energy generation by 2025 can be met easier as well as meeting 60% by 2030. If the entire length of the canals were to be covered, 13 gigawatts of renewable capacity would be produced. The research presented by Brandi McKuin also shows that there could be a possible 63 Billion gallons of water saved.